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Coronavirus claims 30-year-old New Jersey baseball coach

March 31, 2020 / Athletic AdministrationBaseballCoaching
The sports community in New Jersey is mourning the loss of one of its own this week.

Ben Luderer, 30, a varsity baseball coach and teacher for the Cliffside Park School District in Bergen County, NJ, passed away suddenly from complications related to the coronavirus, according to a story appearing on NJ.com.

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Photo: Cliffside Park athletics

In addition to being the Cliffside Park High School skipper, Luderer was a special education middle school teacher at School No. 6 in the Cliffside Park district. But he was perhaps best known as the catcher for the 2008 Don Bosco Prep baseball team, which finished the season with an unblemished 33-0 record and was ranked No. 1 in the nation.

He went on to play collegiate baseball at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY — one of seven NCAA Division 1 players from that Don Bosco team. It was there Luderer met his wife Brandy, who also coaches at Cliffside Park.

The school’s athletic director, David Porfido, told NJ.com that Luderer went to the hospital last Friday when he felt symptoms similar to the coronavirus pandemic, but was allegedly turned away.

“I was told things went bad on Sunday night,” Porfido said in the NJ.com story. “He died at his home. He is irreplaceable. I cried all morning.”

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Coaches, teammates, and players that new Luderer spoke fondly of the former high school baseball player, like his old Don Bosco head coach, Leon Matthews.

“We were playing in the county championship game in 2006 and we had the game wrapped up,” Matthews. said to NJ.com. “Ben was only a sophomore and I wanted to put him in the game. He turned to me and said ‘coach, let the senior finish it up.’”

For more reactions from friends and family, the full story can be found here.